Last updated on February 10th, 2022 at 01:05 pm
On February 1, USA Swimming, the national governing body of swimming in the United States whose rules govern the NCAA, released a new policy regarding transgender swimmers to bring fairness to the sport by recognizing that males and females are different.
According to the new policy, which was effective upon issuance, an elite male swimmer identifying as a woman can swim on a female team if two criteria can be met to the satisfaction of a panel of three independent medical experts. First, the swimmer must show that “the prior physical development of the athlete as a male, as mitigated by any medical intervention, does not give the athlete a competitive advantage over the athlete’s…female competitors.” Second, the male athlete identifying as a woman must demonstrate that “that the concentration of testosterone in the athlete’s serum has been less than 5 nmol/L (as measured by liquid chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry) continuously for a period of at least thirty-six (36) months….”
The main reason for the adoption of the new policy was because of the unfair advantage Lia Thomas, a male identifying as a woman, had as a swimmer on the University of Pennsylvania (Penn) female swim team. Indeed, Thomas had been shattering Penn, Ivy League, and NCAA swimming records since starting on the women’s team in 2021. The new policy, however, would bar Thomas from competing in elite college swimming events as a woman until the new criteria are met.
On February 3, Nancy Hogshead-Makar, a three-time U.S. gold medalist at the 1984 summer Olympics, sent a letter on behalf of 16 Penn swimmers to the school and the Ivy League asking that both accept the new transgender swim policy because it brings back fairness to the sport. Hogshead wrote the letter without identifying the sixteen swimmers because they feared the attacks of radical transgender activists.
In the letter the swimmers praised the new policy adopted by USA Swimming:
“We, 16 members of the Penn Women’s Swimming Team and our family members, thank USA Swimming, for listening to our request to prioritize fairness for biological women in our elite competitions…In particular, we appreciate USAS Guideline’s guiding purpose, to ensure that transgender women competing in the Female competition category “do not have an unfair advantage over their cisgender Female competitors in Elite Events”.
They then noted the inherent unfairness of allowing Lia Thomas, a biological male, to compete a on the women’s team:
“[We]…recognize that when it comes to sports competition, that the biology of sex is a separate issue from someone’s gender identity. Biologically, Lia holds an unfair advantage over competition in the women’s category, as evidenced by her rankings that have bounced from #462 as a male to #1 as a female. If she were to be eligible to compete against us, she could now break Penn, Ivy, and NCAA Women’s Swimming records; feats she could never have done as a male athlete.”
And this unfairness is hurting female swimmers:
“Most important to us is that Lia’s inclusion with unfair biological advantages means that we have lost competitive opportunities. Some of us have lost records… We have dedicated our lives to swimming. Most of us started the same time Lia did, as pre-teens. We have trained up to 20 hours a week, swimming miles, running and lifting weights. To be sidelined or beaten by someone competing with the strength, height, and lung capacity advantages that can only come with male puberty has been exceedingly difficult… [S]port is competitive by definition, and Lia’s wins, records, and honors should not come at our expense, the women who have worked their entire lives to earn a spot on the Penn Women’s Swimming Team.”
The swimmers then stated why they chose to remain unnamed: fear of the woke mob. “We have been told that if we spoke out against her inclusion into women’s competitions, that we would be removed from the team or that we would never get a job offer,” the letter declared.
The letter then strongly concluded:
“We just celebrated National Girls and Women in Sports Day. In honor of the Title IX pioneers who have worked so hard for women to have opportunities in sports and for educational opportunities for all women, we ask the University of Pennsylvania recognize the importance of providing fair competition and safe spaces for its biological female athletes. Further, we ask that Penn and the Ivy League refrain from suing the NCAA, or try to interfere with or weaken these new Athlete Inclusion Policies, that they be allowed to stand, so that we are able to finish our swimming season with distinction and pride.”
In order to ensure fairness for women, 16 female swimmers at the University of Pennsylvania have just sent a letter to their university and the Ivy League asking that both refrain from suing the NCAA over the new transgender policy that protects female athletes. Indeed, should the policy be rejected, female athletes would continue to lose opportunities and medals to stronger and faster males identifying as women. Let’s hope Penn and the Ivy League heed the call of the female swimmers.
But I am not holding my breath.